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Mike Saxon
No. 4     
Punter
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-07-10) July 10, 1962 (age 57)
Place of birth: Whittier, California
Career information
College: San Diego State
NFL Draft: 1984 / Round: 11 / Pick: 300
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
*Detroit Lions ( 1984)*
Career highlights and awards
* Second-team All-WAC (1983)
Games played     172
Punts     813
Punting average     41.7
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Michael Eric Saxon (born July 10, 1962) is a former American football punter in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. He played college football at San Diego State University.

Early yearsEdit

Saxon attended Arcardia High School, where he played as a wide receiver, defensive back and punter. He also practiced baseball.

After graduation he moved on to Pasadena City College, punting for the 1980 Metropolitan Conference champion. He was a two-time All-Metro Conference selection.

In 1982, he walked-on at San Diego State University and was named the starter at punter. He lost his job after struggling with his production, but regained it in the tenth game of the season against Brigham Young University, setting a school record with an 80-yard punt. He finished the year with a 41.8-yard punting average.

As a senior, he set school records with a 45.5-yard season punting average and a 54.8-yard average in one game (against Brigham Young University). He received honorable-mention All-American and second-team All-WAC honors. He also left with the school record for best career average (44.1-yards).

In 2018, he was inducted into the Pasadena City College Sports Hall of Fame.[1]

Professional careerEdit

Detroit LionsEdit

Saxon was selected by the Detroit Lions in the 11th round (300th overall) of the 1984 NFL Draft. On August 27, he was waived after averaging 43.5-yards per game during the preseason and the team deciding to keep incumbent Mike Black.[2]

Arizona OutlawsEdit

On October 27, 1984, he signed with the Arizona Outlaws of the United States Football League.[3] He was released on February 11, 1985.[4]

Dallas CowboysEdit

In 1985, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys. In the 1970s and early 1980s the Dallas Cowboys had the luxury that they didn't need to carry a punter on their roster, because quarterback Danny White could perform that role at a high level. In order to avoid a potential injury to White, the team kept searching for a replacement until finding Saxon.

His first professional punt was a 57-yarder in the season opener against the Washington Redskins, in a game where he had an average of 48.8-ýards, a net average of 43.3-yards and placed 4 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He finished with a 41.9-yard average, best by a Cowboy in 16 years and by a rookie in franchise history. He also set a franchise playoff record with a 46.9-yard average against the Los Angeles Rams.

In 1986, he registered a 40.7-yard average, set a franchise record with 86 punts. He set a club record and led the league with 28 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

In 1987, he established himself as one of the best directional punters in the NFL, by leading the league for a second consecutive season with 20 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. In the season opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, he averaged 46-yards per punt, a net average of 40.5-yards had a career-long 63-yarder and placed 4 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

In 1988, he was fourth in the NFC with a 40.9-yard per punt average, was among the league leaders with 24 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line and became the second player in club history with over 300 career punts.

In 1989, he tallied a 40.9-yard average and was among the league leaders with 19 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He set the second longest streak in club history with 190 punts without a block.

In 1990, he was second in the NFC, fourth in the league and fourth highest in club history, with a career best 43.2-yard average. He tied for fourth on the league with 20 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

In 1991, he had a 42.6-yard average and 16 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He was second in the NFC and tied for fourth in the NFL with a net punting average of 36.8 yards.

In 1992, he was fourth in the NFC with a 43-yard average (fifth in club history). He was a part of the winning team in Super Bowl XXVII, although he suffered a blocked punt in the game, ending a personal streak of 220 punts without a block. He also set the second longest streak in club history with 203 punts without a block. He played in 92 straight games. With 19 punts inside the 20 yard line, he set a club record with 166 career punts downed inside the opponent's 20, which at the time was the NFL-high since he came into the league in 1985. He set the franchise's career record in gross (41.5) and net (34.8) punting averages. He was the second player in franchise history to have two seasons with 43-yard or better gross punting average. In a total of 6 career postseason contests, he averaged 43.5 yards, ranking third in NFL playoff history.

On July 7, 1993, he was released after the team decided to have a training camp battle with young punters, which was won by John Jett.[5] He left with a streak of 92 straight games played.

New England PatriotsEdit

On July 26, 1993, he signed with the New England Patriots and won the starter job over Shawn McCarthy.[6] He averaged 42.4 yards per punt and was named AFC special teams player for week 6, after his game against the Phoenix Cardinals. On August 20, 1994, he was released after the team decided to keep rookie Pat O'Neill.[7][8]

Minnesota VikingsEdit

On August 28, 1994, he was signed by the Minnesota Vikings to replace Harry Newsome.[9] In his two years, he averaged 42.9 and 40.9 yards respectively. On August 26, 1996, he was cut in favor of Mitch Berger, who could also handle kickoffs.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Saxon has a roofing business and is a co-founder of Servant Energy Partners.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Former NFL Punter Saxon Leads Group of 10 Inductees for 2018 Pasadena City College Sports Hall of Fame Class". http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/former-nfl-punter-saxon-leads-group-of-10-inductees-for-2018-pcc-sports-hall-of-fame-class/#.W1ShftUzbIU. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  2. "Transactions". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=892&dat=19840827&id=y4xaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=708DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5402,5634233. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  3. "Wide receiver Trumaine Johnson, the USFL's Receiver of the...". https://www.upi.com/Archives/1984/10/26/Wide-receiver-Trumaine-Johnson-the-USFLs-Receiver-of-the/9767467611200/. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  4. "Scoreboard". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=799&dat=19850209&id=S7lPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=nlEDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6636,3681917. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  5. "Dallas Places Veteran Punter Saxon on Waivers". https://newsok.com/article/2435618/dallas-places-veteran-punter-saxon-on-waivers. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  6. "Saxon Puts Best Foot Forward". http://articles.courant.com/1993-07-27/sports/0000006843_1_mike-saxon-patriots-rookie-quarterback-patriots-coach-bill-parcells. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  7. "Transactions". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2199&dat=19940821&id=NhUyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YOcFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6744,1765355. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  8. "The Dissection Of O'neill's Role With Patriots". http://articles.courant.com/1994-09-29/sports/9409290286_1_punting-touchbacks-patriots. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  9. "Transactions". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2002&dat=19940830&id=yl5VAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kD4NAAAAIBAJ&pg=3405,6948860. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  10. "Saxon In Then Out As Viking Punter". http://articles.latimes.com/1996-08-27/sports/sp-38041_1_mike-saxon. Retrieved January 7, 2018.

External linksEdit

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